Every summer I make the same mistake. I think to myself, “I don’t need any help or planned activities for the kids this summer! School is so structured and scripted, they need summertime freedom! They need a chance to get bored and make something up!” And then the boys spend the first few weeks of summer begging me to watch TV or play games on the computer. Eventually I cave and they end up watchings screens way more than I would like. Or I spend my evenings scrolling Pinterest and then scrambling to find random supplies so they have an activity to draw them away from those magnetic and brain-draining screens.
Well, I’m not repeating that mistake this summer! I teamed up with Andrea from Andrea’s Notebook and nearly a dozen other talented bloggers to create a Boredom Busters Kit. The kit includes 10 different projects and bonus printables like a calendar and coloring page. Each project just needs to be printed out and it’s ready to go. The thing I like the most about these activities is that kids can do them independently and they are designed to lead to free-form, creative play. It’s all the stuff I like…unstructured, independent, free-choice, imaginative…the projects provide a nudge and get the ball rolling. And, most of the time, that is all it takes! My kids will play happily for a long time once they get going on a fun activity and without any grown-up intervention they will launch one project into a whole new direction.
My other favorite thing is the awesome range of activities. Without really planning to, we each created activities that are useful in a range of circumstances. There are doodle pages perfect for waiting in a restaurant; quiet indoor activities like story-telling and a family journal; tons of outdoor activities like nature journals and more boisterous indoor activities such as cooking and science. I’m planning to print them out and allow the boys to pick an activity, an invitation of sorts, that they can do independently.
I created a project called Color The Rainbow. It’s a rainbow with 23 different outdoor activities. Kids color in each section after they complete an outdoor activity. The activities themselves are pretty simple and most of them are completely independent. (Some, like strawberry picking, require a drive but most of them don’t). My kids have already started to fill in their rainbows and LOVE IT! It makes me so happy because my childhood summers were spent outside for hours and hours and that time forms some of my fondest memories. I really want to encourage my kids to have that un-supervised, free-wheeling, making it all up kind of summer experience. I believe that is where a love of nature begins. Once they fill in the whole rainbow, there is a certificate they receive which is also included in the kit.
We posted their rainbows on the wall in the dining room and they are completely independently filling it in. The trick about it is, once the boys get outside they tend to stay there. They go out to do the “rainbow” activity and then end up playing knights or soccer or just running around. It’s great! More sewing time for me and a richer summer for them!
Hello win, meet win.
I think we hit on some summer magic here. If you want to buy the kit, too (and I sincerely recommend it) you can get it here or through the buy now button up above.
These are affiliate links and I honestly thank you for your support. We all worked super hard on these. It was my first time using Illustrator! It will not be my last. I have some fun ideas for other easy printables and I’ll be sharing them soon.
Have a rocking summer, friends! Also, if you have any favorite summertime outdoor activities for kids, please share them with me. Definitely let me know if you do the Color The Rainbow Activity! I’m thinking it would be fun to email something extra to kids who complete it! Or even make some pins to mail out? Hmm..this could be fun.